Nearly two months after they went missing, the decomposed bodies of a 30-year-old woman and her three children were on Thursday found hanging from a tree in a forest at Umberkhand in Bhiwandi taluka.
The deceased have been identified as Ranjana Bangari and her children Darshana (12), Rohit (9) and Rohini (6).
The Padgha police has registered a case of harassment and abetment to suicide against Ranjana’s husband Sripath (35) and his second wife Savita (28). They are yet to be arrested, as they are currently admitted at JJ hospital in Mumbai after they drank pesticide and tried to die by suicide after discovering the bodies.
On October 16, without divorcing Ranjana, Sripath had married Savita and brought her home, said a police officer. “Sripath was in an extra marital relationship with Savita, a distant relative of Rajana, for more than a year. Rajana knew about their affair, due to which the couple used to constantly fight.”
“Ranjana stayed with them for four days… but on October 20, following an altercation with Sripath, she left the house with their three children,” said Thane Rural police SP Vikram Deshmane. Sripath, along with other villagers, tried locating Ranjana for 24 hours. When she could not be traced, he approached the Padgha police station, where a missing complaint was filed.
Some villagers on Thursday evening went inside the jungle to collect wood and detected a foul smell. As they went further inside, they found four decomposed bodies hanging from a tree.
“They informed other villagers, Sripath and Ranjana’s relatives, who went to the spot and identified the four with the help of their clothes… The bodies were decomposed to the extent that the torsos of Darshana and Rohini had fallen off,” said the officer, adding that the bodies were found within four kilometers from where the family used to stay. The Padgha police went on to lodge an accidental death report.
On Friday evening, the police registered a case under sections 498 (A) (husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty), 306 (abetment to suicide and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code against Sripath and Savita.
The bodies have been sent for postmortem examination.
“We have ascertained that it is a case of suicide. Now, we will be investigating how the woman killed her three children before hanging herself – whether she hanged them directly or poisoned them before hanging them,” said Deputy SP Dilip Godbole.
The police said that after identifying the bodies, Sripath and Savita returned to their house and drank pesticides. “One of their relatives found them with a bottle of pesticide next to them. They were rushed to Indira Gandhi hospital in Bhiwandi. Later on Friday, they were referred to JJ hospital in Mumbai. They are out of danger now,” said Godbole.
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